Jail for ‘flight-risk’ Cookstown man arrested with one-way ticket to Slovakia

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A Cookstown man arrested with a one-way ticket to Slovakia in his possession has been jailed for a month for assaulting his former partner.

Michael Werthelim, 34, from Parkmount, appeared by videolink at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

He was charged with common assault arising out of an incident on September 21, last year. The court was told that a friend of the injured party alerted police to the offence.

At the time, Werthelim admitted to hitting the woman, causing bruising to her left eye. He told police officers, “I take all responsibility for what has happened in the past 24 hours.”

When Werthelim later attended the police station in relation to the charge, he denied assaulting his former partner, but later admitted to slapping her in self-defence.

Werthelim, who has been in custody since February 14 after breaching bail by contacting the victim, was deemed a ‘flight risk’ because he was found with a one-way ticket to Slovakia in his possession.

His defence solicitor told the court that Werthelim had admitted the offence at his doorstep, took full responsibility for his behaviour and now fully accepted that the relationship with his partner was over.

This was his first time in custody, and intends to stay in the jurisdiction with close family ties to his sister.

The defence solicitor said that he had been assured by Werthelim’s sister that the defendant accepted the relationship was over, and even though the victim had not cooperated with police, he had made a full admission of the offence.

District Judge John Meehan sentenced the defendant to one month in jail.